Belmont CBD plan approved 

A NEW plan for Belmont CBD aims to create hubs for alfresco dining, promote the use of laneways and better link the town to its shore.

The Belmont Streetscape Master Plan aims to build new street furniture, bins, bike racks, drinking fountains, pavements, lighting, plants and gardens.

Lake Macquarie councillors approved the plan last night.

Belmont town co-ordinator Jenny Barrie said the plan was neither costed nor funded.

“Overall the plan is good, but the concern is not having any funding,” Ms Barrie said.

Ms Barrie said the O’Farrell government provided $2.5 million as an election promise to Cardiff to improve its streetscape.

“We need to lobby to get Belmont a piece of the pie,” Ms Barrie said.

The plan would partly rely on developers’ mandatory infrastructure contributions.

Deputy Mayor Laurie Coghlan, who works in Belmont, said businesses and the council must co-operate for the plan to work.

Cr Coghlan said the plan was “mainly to guide what happens in the future”.

“Macquarie Street should be redeveloped and beautified to link the business centre to the lake a bit better, but for that to happen the council needs to dig a traffic study out of a bottom drawer,” he said.

Ms Barrie said the chamber supported banner poles along Macquarie Street to link the lake to the CBD.

Cr Coghlan said there had been “a lot of redevelopment around the CBD”.

“Some of the developments along Brooks Parade have turned out quite pleasant,” he said.

A council report said the plan aimed to connect the town centre to the lake shore; maintain vistas to the lake; reduce street clutter; create hubs for alfresco dining and promote the use of laneways.

Services would be put underground and walking, cycling and public transport encouraged.

Belmont is the third streetscape plan to be completed, following Cardiff and Charlestown.

MASTERPLAN: A serene Belmont shore, which will be better linked to the town. Picture: Phil Hearne

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